The October 17 legalization date for marijuana in Canada may be met with excitement from consumers, but that looming date is causing trepidation among some cannabis businesses. Canada is only the second country to legalize adult recreational marijuana usage, and the first G20 nation to do so.
The passage of the Cannabis Act this past June was lauded by pro-marijuana activists but has also been marred by major setbacks as the industry becomes legal. Those issues have ranged from questions about the locations where public consumption is allowed to potential problems for cannabis consumers crossing the border into the United States.
Some of these kinks in the new law will likely need to be rectified with further federal legislation or even tackled by local city government agencies.
In an ironic twist, consumers may find they actually have less access to marijuana as a legal commodity than when it was a black market product. Notably, edibles won’t be available for legal sale until a projected date of October 2019 to allow Health Canada additional time to regulate consumable marijuana products.
Boutique Vancouver dispensary Village Bloomery tweeted this warning today about product availability to their customers:
BC Cannabis and concentrated products will not be available come legalization! So long vape pens, shatter, rosin, tears, and oils.
— The Village Bloomery (@villagebloomery) September 20, 2018
“All this beautiful, beautiful stuff is going to be gone,” she said, referring to the packaging and clear glass jars currently lining the Village Bloomery shelves.
While the Cannabis Act legalizes marijuana, it also severely restricts advertising, and stipulates that all cannabis products cannot be packaged or labeled in any way that would potentially be appealing to youth.
“My fear is that it’s not actually going to be useful for the end consumer,” Dobbs stated.